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Last Christmas – A Gift to Bethlehem

For many years the MET has sent up to $20,000 at Christmastime to be given to poor Christian families in Jerusalem.  After the pandemic and the retirement of the gentleman who distributed our funds, we decided to try to do the same in the city of Christmas, Bethlehem.  We approached our good friend Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh, the founder and (volunteer) Director of the Palestine Museum of Natural History; with the help of fellow members of the Bethlehem Rotary Club and the Shepherd Society (the social arm of Bethlehem Bible College) Mazin has done a grand job for us.

They targeted the poor, sick and needy Christian families in the Bethlehem District, including the nearby towns of Beit Sahour and Beit Jala and surrounding villages – an area with a population of over 230,000.  They reached 150 families with money and five organisations, benefitting a further 150 people.

The 150 families were chosen by some of the churches in the Bethlehem area and from the Shepherd Society’s “Family to Family” programme.  Each family signed a receipt for their $100.

One of the organisations was The Incarnate Word Institution, an orphanage and school for 38 physically and mentally disabled children, 14 of them in wheel-chairs.  Mazin reports “We paid for a desperately needed custom closet and had an activity with the children: we brought   samples and specimens from the Museum of Natural History to show the children; then we danced and had a good time with them.”  See his photos.

The other four organisations were the Franciscan Boys Home (training and sweets), the St Nicolas Elderly Home in Beit Jala (food supplies for 42 people), the Mahwar Girls Home (personal hygiene items and a celebration of Palestine Women’s Day) and the Mother Teresa Sisters Elderly Home (part funding of an aluminium shelter for the 10 ladies and their visitors).

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the Christmas 2022 Appeal.

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